F-15E Support Jammer?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 14:37

Since the Sparkvark was retired, the USAF turned its tactical jamming mission over to the USN (with some AF flight crew). Since the Beagle will probably be partially superseded by the F-35 (except in external payload), wouldn't it make sense to use the airframe's large size and second crewmember to create a complement to the EA-18? It would probably be kinematically superior, and high RCS shouldn't be much of a big deal when you're emitting a few trillion electrons every second and spoofing hostile radar.

Any takers? :wink:
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destroid

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 15:35

Why not do it with an F-35 frame?
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 15:48

southernphantom wrote:Since the Sparkvark was retired, the USAF turned its tactical jamming mission over to the USN (with some AF flight crew). Since the Beagle will probably be partially superseded by the F-35 (except in external payload), wouldn't it make sense to use the airframe's large size and second crewmember to create a complement to the EA-18? It would probably be kinematically superior, and high RCS shouldn't be much of a big deal when you're emitting a few trillion electrons every second and spoofing hostile radar.

Any takers? :wink:


The USAF plan has been to use a combination of electronic attack(from the AESA equipped aircraft), stand in jamming(i.e. jammer equipped F-15Cs), Compass Call/MALD-J, NGJ, along with the inherent survivability of a largely stealth fleet.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... rs-340532/

USAF officials have instead decided to focus on the stand-in jamming role, employing the Raytheon miniature air-launched decoy-jammer (MALD-J), upgrades to the EC-130 Compass Call fleet and, possibly, upgraded F-15Cs.
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tacf-x

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 19:08

MALD-J would be quite useful for this considering Home On Jam missiles would only take out a decoy and not an operational fighter. Pretty cool idea.
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lb

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Unread post15 Dec 2011, 02:48

Actually the USAF has been in denial over EW for years and will just continue to rely on the EA-18G force. They agreed to be the lead force for stand off jamming years ago and could never be bothered to fill the requirement. The EB-52 was cancelled in, restarted, and cancelled again. In this budget environment the odds of a EA-15 are zero.

The F-35 is not going to be turned into an EW/EA aircraft. It's simply not a mission for one man. Indeed there are various things the EA-6B does that the EA-18G either does not do as well or does not do at all. Beyond the lack of a second seat another challenge is a single engine providing limited electrical generation. Just hanging a NGJ on an F-35 does not turn it into an EW/EA aircraft nor would trying to fit one in the two bays. It might be useful for escort jamming and/or as an adjunct for dedicated aircraft however.
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destroid

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Unread post15 Dec 2011, 03:09

I'm sure plenty of countries would like to buy a two seater F-35 variant though, it wouldn't be so bad if one was designed and produced.
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southernphantom

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Unread post15 Dec 2011, 04:27

destroid wrote:I'm sure plenty of countries would like to buy a two seater F-35 variant though, it wouldn't be so bad if one was designed and produced.


I would have to agree with you there. The SA is far superior, and one man can't fly a mission profile, counter threats, AND employ a sophisticated E-dub suite. As for power, seeing as a nuke on a JSF would be both dangerous and overkill, I'd suggest an APU pod. Is there any official comment on whether the current power systems will be able to power the techno-junk AND the addons that will certainly start popping up a few years into production, or is it a 'full' airframe already? The F-22, for example, has the space and power for planned systems that were not installed, giving it a bit of flexibility for future upgrades. If the F-35 has to resort to hanging things off the airframe nearly right off the bat, we most certainly have a major problem.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post15 Dec 2011, 14:22

NGJ pods power themselves (internal RAT). Its internal power systems are sufficient to power they systems that it has now.
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southernphantom

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Unread post15 Dec 2011, 14:44

SpudmanWP wrote:NGJ pods power themselves (internal RAT). Its internal power systems are sufficient to power they systems that it has now.


You're right, I just read that it passed a power-generation milestone.
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geogen

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Unread post19 Dec 2011, 05:20

southernphantom wrote:Since the Sparkvark was retired, the USAF turned its tactical jamming mission over to the USN (with some AF flight crew). Since the Beagle will probably be partially superseded by the F-35 (except in external payload), wouldn't it make sense to use the airframe's large size and second crewmember to create a complement to the EA-18? It would probably be kinematically superior, and high RCS shouldn't be much of a big deal when you're emitting a few trillion electrons every second and spoofing hostile radar.

Any takers? :wink:


An F-15E+ with APG-82 upgrade would be the optimal tactical support-jamming platform.

As the NGJ is still in development though and still up in the air, a derivative of a current off-the-shelf escort/AEA jammer would be the more logical interim system to integrate into the F-15E. However, as lb said above... there is unfortunately no budget for such an F-15C/D or E variant support jamming platform now, as it's all about how many F-35 vs the original requirements can be procured under austere budgets going forward.
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lb

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Unread post19 Dec 2011, 06:32

It's not simply hanging a self powered pod on an aircraft. There are a whole host of other systems that also need to be mounted both externally and internally all of which require more electrical power. First and foremost are mounting the receivers on the aircraft, integrating them with the aircraft, and powering them. The AN/ALQ-218 isn't that small. All of this is course besides the point in that the workload of the two crew in the EA-18G is already very high and quite challenging. A one man EW aircraft is really a non starter. It's also worth noting that the SDD for the EA-18G was 5 years and cost over $1 billion.

It's also worth noting that NGJ isn't going to be in the field anytime soon. The schedule says around 2020. So for the next ten years, and some years beyond, we'll still be using AN-ALQ-99 which are certainly not small at 15 ft and require at least two to cover both the low and high bands. Certainly one goal of NGJ is for one pod to replace these two but it's not clear whether this also replaces the other pods required for communications jamming, another key aspect of EW, as well as monitoring. So until NGJ actually has the architecture set we're not designing anything for it. First and foremost it needs to replace the ALQ-99 on the EA-18G.

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